Tuesday, 20 November 2018

Locarno Airport: Interim Accident Report on Ju-52, the "Where the Eagles Dare" plane that crashed in the Swiss Alps

On 4 August 2018 at 16:10 Junkers JU-52 HB-HOT took off from Locarno Airport, with a crew of 3 and 17 passengers. The final destination was Dübendorf airfield, located next to Zürich. 

About 40 minutes later the airplane flew up a north-northeast course into the basin southwest of Piz Segna (Canton of Grisons). At the northern end of the valley it began a left turn, which turned into a spiral-shaped trajectory down. A few seconds later the aircraft crashed approximately perpendicular to the terrain. 
HB-HOT as it appeared in the 1968
movie "Where the Eagles Dare".
Credits: @www.flying-tigers.co.uk
The crash of the Ju-52 remains a mystery even three and a half months after the fatal vertical crash above Flims Grisons. 

For the time being, the interim report that has been just published on Monday 19.11.2018 by the Swiss Transportation Safety Board (SUST), merely states:

"...As of the date of publication of this interim report, there were no indications for pre-existing technical defects that would have caused the accident..." 

There is however the following appeal to the population. The Swiss Safety Investigation Authority (SUST) continues to ask for the assistance of the population. For the investigation of the said accident, SUST asks for the following contributions:

  • Photos and film footage of the Junkers Ju 52/3m HB-HOT airplane which were taken on 4 August 2018 ideally after 16:00.
  • Photos and videos taken in the years 2016 to 2018 during flights with this airplane
  • GPS tracks taken in the years 2016 to 2018 during a flight with any Ju 52/3m of Ju-Air.

Materials may be sent by e-mail with the subject "Accident Ju 52" to info@sust.admin.ch. Ideally
the submission of information should be made with the location, date and time of the recordings. 

Our prayers and heartfelt condolences go out to the families of this tragic loss.